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From time to time, the Waterloo Region Family Network (WRFN) is asked to distribute information on behalf of third parties. WRFN provides general information to self-advocates and families of children with special needs. The information provided on this website is not a recommendation, referral or endorsement of any resource, therapeutic method, or service provider. WRFN is not responsible for any information or services provided by third parties. You are urged to use independent judgment when considering any resource.



KidsAbility Youth Advisory Council (KAYAC)

KidsAbility is currently recruiting for KidsAbility Youth Advisory Council (KAYAC) 2019-2020. 

  • Monthly meetings September to June
  • For youth aged 14-24
  • Get volunteer hours
  • Plan youth events, gain advocacy skills
  • Make a difference in your community
  • Be the youth voice for KidsAbility

For more information, contact:
Joanne Duddy, transitions@kidsability.ca.

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On The House

On The House is an opportunity for Waterloo Region families that have a loved one(s) with a disability to enjoy a delicious complimentary three-course dinner for two at Proof Restaurant Lounge. Care, by a trained support person, will be provided for your loved one(s) nearby so you can relax and enjoy!

Participants will be chosen by random selection. If you would like to participate in On The House, please submit your interest by Thursday, May 23 to https://bit.ly/2vGc6Vm.
You can also refer a friend or family member!


Date: Tuesday, June 11, 2019

Time: Table seating times from 5:30-6:30pm

Location: Proof Restaurant Lounge 


If you have questions, please contact Krista McCann 519-886-9150 x 2 or Krista.McCann@wrfn.info.

This event is an ASD Collaborative initiative. 


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Caring for the Caregiver

A research project evaluating Acceptance & Commitment Training (ACT) for female caregivers of individuals with fetal alcohol spectrum disorder (FASD).

ACT seeks to help individuals to struggle less with difficult things in their lives and mindfully connect with things that are most important in a way that is loving and respectful. With an introduction to the concept of ‘mindfulness,’ ACT does not attempt to directly change or stop unwanted thoughts or feelings, but to develop a new mindful relationship with those experiences that can free a person up to being open, and to take action consistent with what they care about. This is a research project evaluating the benefits of ACT for caregivers.


Who Should Attend?
Female caregivers of individuals with FASD.


Dates & Times

May 24th: 5:30pm-9:00pm
May 25th: 9:00am-4:00pm
June 19th: 5:30pm-9:00pm
Location: Toronto Western Hospital, 9 East Wing, Group Room B (Room 9E436).
*You must attend all dates


Want more information?
Video: https://www.surreyplace.ca/caring-for-the-caregiver-through-act/ 
Articles: http://rdcu.be/I6jT & https://bit.ly/2tSUbcZ

Contact Brianne Redquest at brianne.redquest@camh.ca or 416-535-8501 ext. 33923

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Autism Ontario 2019 One to One Summer Support Worker Reimbursement Fund

Need support so your child with ASD can go to Summer Camp?


The 2019 One-to-One Summer Support Worker Reimbursement Fund is available to Ontario families of children or youth with ASD who retain the services of a one-to-one support worker for their child to attend a community summer camp or summer program.  Maximum reimbursements of $600, per child or youth, (up to 18th birthday) will be made to subsidize services purchased between June 24 and August 30, 2019. 


A minimum of 500 families from across Ontario are expected to receive reimbursements. Reimbursements will be provided based on a random selection made from all eligible applicants who apply between May 6 and May 31, 2019.



  1. Application:  We will accept completed and signed applications from May 7 and May 31, 2019. Your application must include evidence of a clear ASD diagnosis from a professional who is qualified to make the diagnosis (see website for details).
  2. Selection: By June 7, 2019, 500 families will be randomly selected and ALL applicants will be informed by letter whether they were selected to receive funds or not.
  3. Payment: Autism Ontario will issue cheques to the randomly selected families who have submitted (by no later than September 13, 2019) all original receipt(s) for fees paid by the parent of the child with ASD for the child’s one-to-one worker.

Note: Membership in Autism Ontario is not required to access the Fund.


Contact Ginny Kontosic with questions, 416-246-9592 ext. 225 or 


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Sleep Quality in Parents of Children 4-10 years with Autism Spectrum Disorder

Sleep Quality in Parents of Children 4-10 years with Autism Spectrum Disorder - Holland Bloorview Kids Rehabilitation Hospital 


What is this study about?
The purpose of this study is to study the relationships between your child’s sleep and your sleep and health. This information might help us learn more about what may help to improve sleep in other parents of children with Autism Spectrum Disorder (referred to as ASD).


Who can participate?
English-speaking parents of a child 4-10 years of age with Autism Spectrum Disorder (1 year since diagnosis).

Parents will be excluded if he/she:

  • Work night shifts or is employed at nighttime
  • Has a physician-diagnosed sleep problem (e.g. sleep apnea, narcolepsy, restless leg syndrome etc.)
  • Has infants less than 12 months at home
  • Provides casual care for child with ASD (e.g. grandparent, babysitter, daycare or respite provider) that does not provide nighttime care for the child.
  • Child with ASD also has a permanent movement disorder (e.g. Duchenne muscular dystrophy) or neuromuscular diagnosis (e.g. CP) that requires physical care at night time (e.g. suctioning or repositioning etc.)

What’s involved?
If you agree to participate in this study, you will be asked to complete an online survey that takes about 60 minutes to complete. The survey asks questions about:

  • You and your family
  • Your child’s autism severity and behaviours
  • You and your child’s sleep
  • Your health, including stress and depression
  • Your coping and support networks

Participants may choose to enter into a draw to win one of ten $100 e-gift cards.


Principal Investigator:
Pam Green and Samantha Micsinszki


To ask questions or to sign up, contact: Samantha at  parentsleepstudy@hollandbloorview.ca

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CMHRT Psychology Consultation Services

Description of the Psychological Consultation Service

The Centre for Mental Health Research and Treatment (CMHRT) psychological consultation service is intended for clients or parents and caregivers of children or youth who have had a previous psychological assessment and who wish to better understand the implications of the assessment results for themselves or for their child.

How does the Psychological Consultation Service Work?

First, the client/parent/guardian provides the CMHRT clinician with a copy of all relevant previous psychological assessment reports and other pertinent information (such as psychiatric reports, academic assessments, etc.). The clinician reviews this information in order to translate the technical psychological testing information into accessible language. A basic handout is developed that summarizes the client’s learning strengths and challenges, based upon the available previous psychological assessment information.

Next, the assigned clinician meets with the client or client’s parent or caregiver (and case manager, or others as appropriate) to review the assessment information. The clinician uses knowledge of tests and test results, as well as knowledge of development, to interpret the implications of those results for current functioning. The client or parent/guardian (if a child or younger adolescent) contributes observations of current functioning and together the clinician and the family co-create an understanding of the implications of the assessment data for everyday life. Key strategies and recommendations are also discussed and shared. 

Lastly, the CMHRT clinician provides a consultation document to the client or parent/guardian that summarizes the client’s learning in accessible language. If the previous assessment results no longer appear to fit the client, an outcome of the consultation may include the recommendation for an updated psychological assessment.  

Accessing the Psychological Consultation Service

To begin our intake process, please complete our online intake form or call the Centre for Mental Health Research and Treatment at 519-888-4567 x33842 or send us an email at cmhrtintake@uwaterloo.ca.  Please mention that you are specifically requesting a consultation. The CMHRT Director, Dr. Marjory Phillips, will then contact you to discuss the request. 

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Autism Ontario - Great Wolf Lodge

Families will have the opportunity to come and enjoy at Great Wolf Lodge at a special rate just for Autism Ontario.
Great Wolf Lodge is generously offering Autism Ontario families a discounted group rate for stays occurring during the below dates.  

By registering, starting May 16, 2019 at 9am, you will be given the group code, which allow you to access the reduced rate. This is for Ontario families with children with Autism, who are 18 and under. 



  • September 13 - 29, 2019
  • October 27 - 31, 2019

Registration opens May 16 at 9am. Learn more here.

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WRFN Newsletter - May 2019

This issue of Family Pulse focuses on Self-Advocacy. Cristina, WRFN Self-Advocacy Liaison, shares her personal definition of self-advocacy and the 'selfs' that pave the way toward learning this skill. 

In this issue, we are also excited to share a recap from our Evening of Elegance fundraiser! We are grateful to our sponsors, donors and guests for making it such a successful night. 


Inside this issue:

  • SEAC Updates
  • WRFN's 5th annual Evening of Elegance
  • What's Happening at WRFN
  • Coffee Club Updates
  • The 'Selfs' that Pave the Way Toward Self-Advocacy
  • Upcoming Community Events

Read Family Pulse online or download a PDF copy


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Ontario Autism Consultations Now Open

Ontario’s government is engaging in a month-long series of public consultations on how children and youth with autism, including those with complex needs, can be better supported.
You can participate in the consultations during the month of May by participating in an online survey and/or through participating in telephone town hall sessions.
Visit the website to learn more about these opportunities. 


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NEW FASD Ontario Website

We are pleased to share that FASD Ontario has launched!

This website is a comprehensive, online hub where you’ll find up-to-date and accurate information on Fetal Alcohol Spectrum Disorder as well as access to valuable resources and services in your area and across the province. You will find:

  • FASD Sevices
  • FASD Information
  • News
  • Learning Events
  • FAQs 
  • Ask Questions


www.tsafON.ca (French-language site)


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Waterloo Region Family Network
May 15, 2019
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